The Detentists Never Knew What Hit Them

He Never Knew What Hit Him,” by Chirol, Coming Anarchy, 22 July 2005, http://www.cominganarchy.com/archives/2005/07/22/he-never-knew-what-hit-him/.

Policies of the Zones of Turmoil and Development,” by Max Singer and Aaron Wildavsky, The Real World Order: Zones of Peace, Zones of Turmoil, ppg 165-166, January 1996.

Discussing the Global War on Terrorism, Chirol writes that one doctrine of war is as true now as ever

 

We did not choose the GWOT, it came to us and as Americans say: the best defense is a good offense.

 

Many parts of the GWOT are 4th Generation Wars. 4GW relies on ideology, a struggle of ideas. Unfortunately, part of our strategy in the Cold War was to ideologically disarm, in other to make other things easier for us. “Detente” ideologically disarmed us:

 

Most of the materials we now provide to other countries put little stress on the question of democracy. We have not wanted to seem to be promoting our own ideology or arrogantly presuming that our political system is better than that of other countries. We have not wanted to offend countries, such as the Moslem countries and the communist countries, that are not democratic. Basing U.S. policy on the distinction between democracies and nondemocracies was regarded as an implicit attack on the Soviet Union, a “confrontational” approach that only “cold warriors” would use. In order to live safely with the Sovviets and other nondemocracies we generally avoided ideological conflict.

 

If I may adapt Chirol’s cartoon to show how Detente set us back in fighting the ideology of bin Ladenism:

Of course, a good thing about this is that non-ideology makes it easier to win 5GWs. But such is a post for another time…

Lyrics for "Weapon of Choice" by Fatboy Slim

The Anthem of War:

Don’t be shocked by tone of my voice
Check out my new weapon, weapon of choice
Don’t be shocked by tone of my voice
Check out my new weapon, weapon of choice yeah

Listen to the sound of my voice
You can check it on out, it’s the weapon of choice yeah
Don’t be shocked by tone of my voice (aah…)
It’s the new weapon, the weapon of choice yeah

You can go with this
Or you can go with that
You can go with this
Or you can go with that
You can go with this
Or you can go with that
Or you can go with us

You can go with this
Or you can go with that
You can go with this
Or you can go with that
You can go with…

Walk without rhythm, it won’t attract the worm
Walk without rhythm, and it won’t attract the worm
Walk without rhythm, and it won’t attract the worm
if you walk without rhythm, you’ll never learn

Don’t be shocked by the tone of my voice
Check out my new weapon, weapon of choice
Don’t be shocked by the tone of my voice
Check out my new weapon, weapon of choice

Be carefull, we don’t know them
Be carefull, we don’t know them
Be carefull, we don’t know them
Be carefull, we don’t know them

You can go with this
Or you can go with that
You can go with this
Or you can go with that
You can go this
Or you can go with that
Or you can go with us

You can go with this
Or you can go with that
You can go with this
Or you can go with that
You can blow wit’ this
Or you can blow wit’ that
Or you can blow wit’

Organically grown
Through the hemisphere I roam
To make love to the angels of life [To make love to the angels of light], yeah
and my girl
I guess you just don’t understand [She just don’t understand]
It’s gone beyond being a man
As I drift off into the night
I’m in flight
She’s a boy’s scoundral gal [She’s a boy scout no doubt]
But I’m gonna hold my cool
Cause the music rules [because of easy rules], yeah
so move on baby
Check it out

Halfway between the gutter and the stars, yeah
Halfway between the gutter and the stars
Yeah

You can go with this
Or you can go with that
You can go with this
Or you can go with that
You can go with this
Or you can go with that
Or you can go with us

You can go with this
Or you can go with that
You can go with this
Or you can go with that
You can go with…

 

Source for lyrics or alternate lyrics.  Source for audio.  Source for purchase

Emerging NetWar / SecretWar Tactic: Stealth Shareholder Activism

Shareholder Activism: Policy Battlefield of the Future, by Bart Mongoven, Stratfor, http://junkpolitics.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/07/22/stratfor-public-policy-intelligence-report.html.

SecretWar, or 5th Generation War, relies on leveraging power while minimizing visibility. A successful operation would be able to subdue or subvert a government without being noticed. Therefore it is appropriate that Stratfor, started by the author of America’s Secret War, outlines a way for SecretWarriors to subvert corporate America: shareholder activism.

 

Since the 1970s, social and environmental activists have used proxy voting and public companies’ annual shareholder meetings as a platform to push for new public policies. The early shareholder activist and “socially responsible” investment movements achieved their most significant victory in the 1980s, when heavy pressure forced major U.S. and European multinationals to withdraw from South Africa and contributed significantly to the end of the apartheid regime. By the end of the apartheid era, few major multinationals dared do business in South Africa lest they be seen as endorsing its racist political, social and economic structure.

Shareholder activism does not depend on gaining the support of the majority of a company’s shareholders in order to be effective — proxy votes are nonbinding. Instead, it changes corporate policy when management sees that a strong minority of shareholders (usually 20 percent will do) find the company’s policies troublesome. Senior executives begin to fear that significant amounts of management’s time, energy and attention will be diverted to addressing the issue. To reach that threshold of effectiveness, activists try to recruit the support of as many large shareholders as possible — beginning with small social-oriented firms such as Calvert, then progressing to socially-oriented pension funds such as CalPERS (and potentially TIAA-CREF, if the demonstrators get their way). Still, most successful campaigns need significant rank-and-file shareholder support and that of at least one major mainstream investor.

 

 

  • Major Benefit of Shareholder Activism for 5GW: SecretWarrior can affect change through publicly inoccuous front organizations
  • Major Detriment of Shareholder Activism for 5GW: Relies on visibility of front groups to be effective, requires “hearts and minds”

Of course, shareholder activism can also be used in netwars, or 4th Generation Wars. Indeed, shareholder activism may help 4GWarriors more than 5GWarriors. But such is a post for another time…

Al Qaeda’s Quest to Wow You

Peter Nivio Zarlenga on Wow!,” by Tom Asacker, A Clear Eye, 15 July 2005, http://www.acleareye.com/sandbox_wisdom/2005/07/i_ha.html (from Orbit Now!, also at New Persuasion).

Tom Asacker has an interesting blog post on brands and business which has obvious implications for the Global War on Terrorism.

To excerpt:

 

Like when I’m in the bathroom looking at my toilet paper, I’m like ‘Wow! That’s toilet paper?’ I don’t know if we appreciate how much we have.”

Wow I’m pretty sure that we don’t appreciate how much we have. And I’m certain that we’re not satisfied with it all. We want more, better, faster, cheaper, truer, funnier, groovier, kinder, prettier, wittier, livelier. Expectations are at an all-time high, and they’re headed nowhere but up!

 

Same for terrorism. 9/11 and the Beslan school massacre are now expected. Bus bombs are deadly, but we know what “terror” is. We expect that “terror.” Our hearts are becoming hard.

Further:

 

A company’s advertising represents the best opportunity it has to portray its personality.”

 

After I cleared my throat and wiped my chin I began to consider those words – and my reaction to them – a little more critically. “Perhaps that’s right,” I thought. “Maybe we’ve reached a a point where the quality of the initial point of customer contact – be it an advertisement, sales presentation, webinar, direct mail piece, blog, concert hall, etc. – is the new competitive high bar? Maybe what we’re experiencing today is the shifting of Wow! emphasis from post-sale to pre-sale? From customers to prospects?”

 

How does this relate to terrorism? Does this mean that al Qaeda knows that it cannot post-sale “Wow” — that it can’t deliver “Wow” because of a terrorist attack. That it has to advertise the al Qaeda brand, and inspire terror and Wow before (or without) a terrorist attack?

The article continues:

 

Today, when prospects experience any form of marketing communication, they’re searching (albeit subconsciously) for two things: relevance and uniqueness. They’re unimpressed with “me too” offerings and they see right through the old school, mass marketing b.s. and bribes. Even “new” doesn’t mean jack to them. They’re “newed” out. So they tune-out most attempts to pull them in for a later Wow! Instead, they must be strategically Wowed!, starting with the very first impression.

 

How relevant are London bus bombs for non-Londoners? Not very. How relevant are the second London bus bombs? Only to the extent they have new WOW action — a suspect shot dead, a hospital surrounded, etc.

An (in)famous piece of software is Lotus 1-2-3 version 2.0. Lotus 1-2-3 was “Microsoft Excel” before there was a “Microsoft Excel.” And the second version, 2.0, wowed everyone. New features were very useful and worked great. It was like nothing else that most people had ever seen.

Lotus 1-2-3 2.0 almost killed the company.

Every version after it was “ho hum” compared to 1-2-3 2.0. People’s expectations of improvement were raised extremely high after version 2.0, and when Lotus 1-2-3 wasn’t able to turn water into wine again, customers were resistant to pay for a normal upgrade. After all, to them revolutionary changes were to be expected.

9/11 and Beslan may be the Lotus 1-2-3 2.0 of wow. They were so terrible that they are extremely hard to top. al Qaeda can do the same things bigger, or better, but bin Laden has to face the real possibility that more “relevant and unique” attack may be out of its grasp.

Through luck and pluck, Lotus survived its catastrophic success of 1-2-3 2.0. With luck and pluck, al Qaeda may the catastrophic successes of 9/11 and Beslan.

5GW Independently Discovered on "Use Perl;"

5GW equals ‘whoops’,” by TorgoX, Use Perl;, 13 April 2005, http://use.perl.org/~TorgoX/journal/24173.

Ever have a dream/nightmare you have an original idea, only to find out someone on the other side of the world had the same idea right before you?

Apparently, some of Mark Safranski‘s and mine discussion of 5GW was foreshadowed by “TorgoX”

Dear Log,

The core idea of fifth-generation warfare is shaping up to be: “make it look like an accident

Wow.